20.9 – 21.10 2017
Alec Soth:Sleeping by the Mississippi
20.09 – 21.10.2017
The first exhibition in London to focus on Alec Soth’s critically acclaimed photographic series Sleeping by the Mississippi. One of the defining publications in the photo-book era, Sleeping by The Mississippi is a seminal body of work from the recent history of photography. This latest exhibition includes over twenty-five colour prints, and will include one never-before-exhibited photograph.
The exhibition coincides with the launch of the latest MACK edition of the book, which also includes two previously unpublished images. First published by Steidl in 2004, Sleeping by the Mississippi was Soth’s first book, sold through three editions, and established him as one of the leading lights of contemporary photographic practice.
Evolving from a series of road trips along the Mississippi River between 1999 and 2002, Sleeping by the Mississippi captures America’s iconic yet often neglected “third coast”. Soth’s richly descriptive, large-format colour photographs present an eclectic mix of individuals, landscapes, and interiors.
Like Robert Frank’s classic The Americans, Sleeping by the Mississippi merges a documentary style with poetic sensibility. The Mississippi is less the subject of the book than its organising structure. Not bound by a rigid concept or ideology, the series is created out of a quintessentially American spirit of wanderlust. Thirteen years since the book was first published, the artist’s lyrical view has undoubtedly acquired new meanings – ones in which hope, fear, desire and regret coalesce in the evocative journey along this mythic river.
B. United States 1969
Celebrated as one of the most important US photographers working today, Alec Soth merges a documentary style with a poetic sensibility. His first photographic series, Sleeping by the Mississippi, evolved from a series of road trips along the Mississippi River made between 1999 and 2002. The series captured America’s iconic yet often neglected “third coast”, and took Soth from his native Minnesota down into the Mississippi River Delta at the Gulf of Mexico. Not bound by a rigid concept or ideology, Soth created the series out of a quintessentially American spirit of wanderlust.
Soth followed Sleeping by the Mississippi with the 2006 series NIAGARA, in which he documented the famous falls as the site of “spectacular suicides and affordable honeymoons.” His series Broken Manual (2010) looked to those Americans who have abandoned civilisation in favour of inspiration.
Born in 1969, Soth grew up in rural Minnesota. He studied at Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville. He is a member of Magnum Photos and runs an independent publishing company LBM (Little Brown Mushroom). Soth has published over twenty-five books including Sleeping by the Mississippi (2004), NIAGARA (2006), Broken Manual (2010) and Songbook (2015). Soth has had over fifty solo exhibitions including survey shows at Jeu de Paume, Paris (2008), the Walker Art Center, Minnesota (2010) and Media Space, London (2015). Soth has been the recipient of numerous fellowships and awards, including the Guggenheim Fellowship (2013). His work is in the permanent collections of numerous museums, including the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, California and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.